Inmates' cook-off serves up cheer in Peru prison

15th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

A women's prison in Peru might not be the first place to look for holiday cheer, but a group of incarcerated ladies from around the world staged an international cook-off Tuesday that warmed hearts.

Most of the inmates are in on drug smuggling charges, and few likely imagined their work as drug "mules" would land them in the Chorrillos Women's Prison, missing holidays year after year.

Yet there they were -- 24 women from the Philippines, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Iceland, Peru, Colombia, Spain and Bolivia -- firing up national dishes to bring the holiday season to life despite their lack of freedom.

The competition was bubbling hot.

And Germany's Nicole Vantscher, 38, came out on top with a stew of pork, beef and potatoes, served with a side of red cabbage salad. Her prize was free cooking classes.

Of the 854 women at the South American facility, 137 are foreigners, most jailed for drug trafficking.

© 2010 AFP

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